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Orpheu - Revista Trimestral de Literatura was published in 1915. The project was to be a quarterly magazine, the first issue corresponding to the months of January to March and the second from April to June. A third, of which proofs remain, due to lack of money to print it, was never completed or launched. The title is the result of a commitment to the symbolist tendency of Luís de Montalvor, who signed the introduction, and from the fact that among the collaborators there was a Brazilian poet, Ronald de Carvalho, who wanted the magazine to reach the public in Brazil.The translator notes that: "My translation of Orpheu is, for me, the key to an unknown door. The poems in Orpheu 1 & 2 are both feminized and masculinized. As a whole, they reveal a turn inwards towards a way of looking at oneself as the other, encapsulating the absent-present, feminine-masculine, nowhere-everywhere collision at the core of art and life.”

 

Properly speaking, ORPHEU is an exile of artistic temperaments seeking art as secrecy or torment...Our intent is to materialize, as a group or idea, a determined number of revelations in thought or art, that, based on this aristocratic principle, find in ORPHEU, their esoteric ideal, ingrained in the way we feel and know ourselves.

 

LUIS DE MONTALVÔR Lisboa, Portugal 1915

The generation of Orpheu, despite the diversity of its expressions, from the most conservative to the most radical, represents one of the most profound revolutions in the language and themes of Portuguese literature, with traces that extended into the 20th century and which remain both alive and unmatched up until this day.

 

Nuno Júdice

About the Translator: Originally from Toronto, Canada, David Swartz has resided in Lisbon, Portugal since 2013, where he teaches English at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Some of David´s recent translations include Nuno Júdice's “An essay on inspiration” (Berkeley Poetry Review, Issue 46, 2016), And Painting: Questioning Contemporary Painting, CIEBA-FBAUL, 2016), and Matteo Lost His Job  by Gonçalo M. Tavares (Absinthe 21: 2015).  He translated and published The Religious Mantle by Nuno Júdice in 2019.

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